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52 Ancestors Fanny Lulu: Back from the dead

I know what you’re thinking but no, it’s not quite that dramatic. Last month in response to the A to Z blogging challenge, I posted some quilt designs that I had named after females in my family tree over on my quilting blog. Letter F was a quilt design for Fanny Lulu Williamson. [How could I pass up using a name like Fanny Lulu?] When I started the blog post, the information I had for Fanny in my genealogy software showed that she was born about 1861 in Rochester, New York. She was my 1st cousin 3 x removed—her father, Thomas Williamson was the brother of my 2nd great grandfather, William Henry Williamson. Information found on showed that Fanny Lulu had died in October 1887.

Find A Grave Memorial #41439483
Find A Grave Memorial #41439483

[There are a couple of glaring inaccuracies in the brief bio on the Find A Grave Memorial page
but I am going to save clearing that up for another post.]

Because Fanny had died fairly young, I wanted to list her cause of death in my quilting blog post. To find her cause of death, I used the Mt Hope Cemetery Interment Books available online because they have that information taken from the death certificate in them. According to the interment book, Fannie Williamson was 32 when she died of typhoid fever in 1887 which would put her year of birth about 1855—not 1861/1862 as shown in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. She was buried on 6 October 1887 in SE 1/4 410 R1—a plot owned by Thomas Knowles according to the Mt Hope Plot Map Books also available online. [See Note #1 below for links to these records online.] There are no other Williamsons buried near her which is unusual for my Williamson ancestors and given that her father owned a full plot, I questioned why she wasn’t buried there. Looking at this new information, it seemed unlikely that this Find A Grave memorial was for my Fanny Lulu Williamson.

Further searches on didn’t turn up anything concrete for Fanny before I posted her quilt design. She disappears after the 1880 New York Federal Census where she is enumerated in her father’s household as a dressmaker, age eighteen. In addition, the family trees on are riddled with the [inaccurate] information. I surmised that she may have actually married rather than died young and knew further investigating would be needed.

Later I was kind of kicking myself that I had written brief biographical information about the women each of the quilts were named after but hadn’t thought to post that information over here for the 52 Ancestors Challenge. As you have probably guessed, I dug a little deeper to try and find out what really happened to Fanny Lulu. Her marriage record was the first find and without it, it would have been difficult to go further.

City of Rochester Marriage Records online at

Here is what I have pieced together from later census and death records…

Fannie Lulu’s given name was Fannie Louise Williamson

  • born: 5 November 1862 in Rochester, New York to Thomas and Mary [Duckett] Williamson
  • died: 12 January 1926 in Detroit, Michigan
  • married: 14 October 1886 in Rochester, New York to:

John Nicodemus Hyle

  • born: 14 July 1859 in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania to Frederick and Margaret [Nicodemus] Hyle
  • died: 17 November 1947 in Marion, Ohio

John and Fannie had two children:

  1. Frederick Williamson Hyle, born: November 1887 in Pennsylvania
  2. Fannie Louise Hyle, born: 28 May 1891 in Pennsylvania



  1. Find A Grave Memorial #41439483 should be for Fannie Williamson, born about 1855. See Mt Hope Interment Book PDF and Mt Hope Cemetery Plot Map Book.


Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “52 Ancestors #6 – Fanny Lulu: Back from the dead.” My Family History Files, 06 May 2014 ( : [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.


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52 Ancestors A Leap Year Wedding

I just love the quirkiness of a Leap Year wedding, don’t you? One hundred and ninety years ago, my 3rd great grandparents were married on 29 February 1824 at the Manchester Cathedral in Manchester, England.

Thomas Williamson
born about 1803 in Manchester, England
died 20 September 1849 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
Margaret Pollitt
born about 1803 in Manchester, England
died April 1856 in Rochester, Monroe, New York

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  1. This post was last updated/edited on 14 March 2014.
  2. If you have questions about or corrections to anything posted here, please post a comment or contact me using the form on my Contact Me page.
  3. Source Information: Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 (Cathedral) [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2013. ImageNo: 1824 [accessed 01 Mar 2014].
  4. Manchester Cathedral exterior photo by Richard Rogerson. Licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
  5. Manchester Cathedral interior photo by Michael D Beckwith. Licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
  6. Manchester Cathedral aerial view in public domain with no copyright restrictions.
  7. Virtual Tour of Manchester Cathedral


Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “52 Ancestors #5 A Leap Year Wedding (Thomas Williamson and Margaret Pollitt).” My Family History Files, 1 March 2014 ( [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.


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52 Ancestors Someone I Wish I Could Have Known

Image courtesy of nuttakit /
Image courtesy of nuttakit /

Writing this post today has put me in a quirky mood so indulge me… Let’s pretend there’s a photo of a person of medium height with a medium build, blue eyes and light brown hair over there on the left instead of one of a camera, okay?

You see, if I had any connection with the other Williamson family lines I am related to, I might possibly have been able to insert a photo here but that is not the case. When death and divorce split my grandparents apart, we lost connection not only to my grandfather but to everyone in my grandfather’s family. [I realize it is possible that even connecting with distant cousins now won’t produce a photo but I can hope.] My grandfather left my grandmother right after my dad was born and he lived on never having contact with his family again. [That is something I have a hard time understanding.] He could have known his children as adults and his grandchildren could have known him but that was not to be. However, the past has passed and I choose to live in the here and now so let me introduce you to what I know about my paternal grandfather…

Raymond Curtis Williamson was born in Rochester, New York on 18 March 1886 or 1887—take your pick. For every record I have that says 1886, I have another record that says 1887. Grandpa liked to keep ’em guessing… [I need to order his birth certificate.] I have been able to find Raymond in all the applicable Federal and State Census with his parents and siblings. His parents are Thomas Edwin Williamson and Georgiana DeLong. Raymond is the second youngest of eight children. [I believe there was another daughter, Bessie born in 1889 that died in 1890 at 6 months of age. I need to order the death certificate to confirm her parentage.]

On the 31st of July 1912, Raymond married Grace Rose Buisch at Christ Episcopal Church in Rochester. The church is a beautiful structure full of fabulous architectural details, famous stained glass windows and pipe organ. I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to be married there. There are the things I wonder about their marriage now: Had they known each other long? How did they meet? Were they madly in love or was a child on the way the reason for their trip down the aisle? [If I’d only thought to ask my grandmother these things.]

New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935 on FamilySearch
New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935 on FamilySearch

A little side note about this marriage record… When I received a transcribed copy of this record from the Monroe County Vital Records office, Georgiana’s maiden name was written as DeYoung instead of DeLong. Yes, the “L” looks a little funky there on the original — kinda looks like a “Y”. But there are only four letters there — not five. It’s indexed on as DeYang. [At least they got the number of letters right.] That inaccurate copy caused much head banging against brick walls until I finally got a copy of Georgiana’s death certificate that listed her maiden name as DeLong.

The first copy I had of my grandfather’s draft registration was really blurry and I couldn’t make out the questions he was responding to. Then I found this copy on FamilySearch.

WW1 Draft Card for Ray C Williamson
WW1 Draft Card for Ray C Williamson

Much clearer. [I am beginning to think it’s not only important to look for multiple sources but to see if there are additional sources for the same records.] So I have my grandfather’s physical description and signature. Not quite the same as a warm hug and fond memories but I’ll take it. I believe my grandfather gave himself the 18 March 1887 birth date so he could qualify to register for the draft. He was probably thirty-one and not thirty. I also can see from this copy that he was in the New York State National Guard for three and a half years. I don’t know what type of military records are available for the National Guard but it is another avenue to pursue.

These are the children born to Ray and Grace:

  • Martha B Williamson
    • Born: 18 December 1912, Rochester, NY
    • Died: 9 February 1921, Rochester, NY
  • Raymond Curtis Williamson, Jr
    • Born: 7 October 1921, Rochester, NY
    • Married[1]: Elizabeth Jane Arnold
    • Married[2]: Mary Tarrant Hoffman
    • Died: 30 March 2009, Texas
  • Delores Elizabeth Williamson [aka Betty]
    • Born: 24 February 1927, Rochester, NY
    • Married: Walter Harold Olson, Jr
    • Died: 8 January 1987, Inverness, FL
  • Paul Rene Williamson [my father]
    • Born: 12 December 1932, Rochester, NY
    • Married: Opal Duthie
    • Died: 14 October 2006, Las Vegas, NV

In 1920, Ray switched occupations from meter reader/inspector to salesman. He traveled during his work as a salesman. I remember my grandmother cried when she was relating to me that their daughter, Martha died of diphtheria in her father’s arms and that Ray was never the same after that. She said after Martha died their marriage deteriorated. My grandmother was pregnant with their son, Ray, Jr, and carried on the best she could with Ray, Sr absent for long lengths of time. My grandmother would say she was a widow when asked her marital status according to census records and city directories for Rochester.

The 1925 New York State Census is the last time Ray and Grace are enumerated together. The Rochester City Directory for 1926 shows them living at separate addresses. It appears that their relationship was an on and off again affair until shortly after my father, Paul was born. I can find no record of Ray in the 1930 US Census that appear to be my grandfather. I believe it is possible that he wasn’t enumerated at all because of his travels. Grace lists herself as a widow.

Postcard - Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York
Postcard – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York

In 1940, Ray is living in Buffalo, New York at the Lafayette Hotel. He is divorced according to the 1940 census, although I recall my grandmother showing me her divorce papers dated after that time. [I would so like to have those papers now as divorce records in New York are sealed for 100 years.] He is still a salesman for a food company and was living at the same place in 1935.

I do not know if Ray ever remarried or anything else about him except that he died on 1 May 1971 in Olean, New York. My grandmother never remarried.

Raymond C Williamson 1887-1971 Photo by Nancy Thomas. Used with permission.
Raymond C Williamson
Photo by Nancy Thomas. Used with permission.


  1. This post was last updated/edited on 14 March 2014.
  2. If you have questions about or corrections to anything posted here, please post a comment or contact me using the form on my Contact Me page.
  3. More about Raymond Curtis Williamson can be found on the Williamson Surname Page

Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “52 Ancestors #2 Someone I Wish I Could Have Known (Raymond Curtis Williamson).” My Family History Files, 16 February 2014 ( [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.